A year on from coming within an ace of final victory with Tyresö FF, Verónica Boquete has a second chance as her new club 1. FFC Frankfurt travel to Bristol Academy WFC.
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A year on from coming with an ace of winning the UEFA Women's Champions League for Tyresö FF, Verónica Boquete has a second chance as her new club 1. FFC Frankfurt travel to Bristol Academy WFC in the first leg of their quarter-final on Saturday.
It was against a German team, VfL Wolfsburg, that Boquete suffered a heartbreaking 4-3 final defeat in Lisbon last May, before the demise of Tyresö led her to join three-time European champions Frankfurt after a short spell with Portland Thorns. The Spain forward and UEFA women's football ambassador spoke to UEFA.com about the Bristol tie, the appeal of the competition, her move to Frankfurt and her memories of Tyresö.
UEFA.com: You reached the final last year with Tyresö – can you do it again with Frankfurt?
Verónica Boquete: Maybe destiny wants to give me another chance and let me participate in another Champions League final. I would go into it with a lot more experience, knowing what it means to make it there a lot more. I think in the draw we've managed to avoid big opponents until the hypothetical final. That is always good, of course, but we can't be complacent. We know Bristol will make for a very difficult tie and we have to focus on that.
UEFA.com: What does the competition mean to you?
Boquete: It is the most special competition, it's the competition that brings me the most joy and enthusiasm. I think that is because I grew up watching and following the Champions League, although it was the men's Champions League. In Spain you always dream of becoming European champions, so you always sit there during the week and follow the matches. And experiencing it now myself, facing the biggest teams in Europe, is just a different feeling. So it is a very special competition.
UEFA.com: What attracted you to Frankfurt?
Boquete: Frankfurt are a team with a lot of Champions League experience and that already makes this club very special. They are a team that play in the Champions League, a team that compete for every trophy. And that made me want to come here. I knew I would be coming to a club with great players, that I'd be playing with them in a strong league like the Bundesliga, and that I would get the chance to compete in the Champions League. And that is my highest priority – I want to compete for trophies, play at the top level, and be among and learn from the best.
UEFA.com: And how has it worked out?
Boquete: It's exactly what I expected, it is a strong and competitive league, that's what I've found. That is also what I hoped for and wanted after the experience I had playing abroad before in the US and in Sweden. Playing abroad also means you learn things outside football. And the experience here now, it's a different culture and you see how different people are. You have to adapt. But in the end how you perform on the pitch is the important thing – and I've been trying to perform well every day.
UEFA.com: You achieved a lot with Tyresö, too. What are your memories of that time?
Boquete: There are a lot of memorable moments because Tyresö was a special club. It will always be part of my career and I will always remember it as the dream team. It's the best club I have ever played for, the one I enjoyed playing for the most. It took my football to the top level.
The best memory is maybe the league title we won in my first year in Sweden, because obviously you always remember when you win titles. But also the whole path to the Champions League final, and the difficulties we had to face, the unity of the group of players. I think all of that will always stay in my mind, including the defeat in the final. After overcoming the tears of that defeat we became aware of what was really important – and that was the path we all took together.